Sweetness and light: design and applications of photo-responsive glycoconjugates

Yingxue Hu, Richard Francis Tabor, Brendan Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Carbohydrate-protein binding is a supramolecular recognition process that underpins myriad biological events. However, the precise conformational and configurational requirements for biomolecular recognition are often poorly understood, since such phenomena often occur in a strongly spatiotemporal manner. Photoswitchable glycoconjugates have emerged as promising investigational tools for probing carbohydrate-protein recognition and for controlling bacterial adhesion. Reversible photoisomerisation, in particular that of azobenzene glycoconjugates, has also been exploited as a promising strategy for controlling supramolecular self-assembly and macroscopic properties, thereby facilitating the development of light responsive carbohydrate-based materials. The following review will highlight the recent advances in the design and applications of photoswitchable glycoconjugates, paying particular attention to the application of light as a stimulus for modulating protein and cellular adhesion, amphiphilicity and supramolecular assembly of carbohydrate-based materials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2216 - 2225
Number of pages10
JournalOrganic & Biomolecular Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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